Michele Waldron, Psy.D is a clinical psychologist and licensed drug and alcohol counselor. She works at Northeast Residential Services as a consultant to group homes that serve individuals with developmental and mental health disabilities. She is also a psychotherapist at The Moss Group, a private group practice, and provides individual and group psychotherapy to professionals struggling with various addictions (drugs, alcohol, sex).

Treatment Tool in Addictions

I discovered the Skills System when working as an outpatient therapist at a community mental health center with chronically mentally ill clients. While the treatment is designed for those with cognitive challenges, I discovered that it also was effective with those who experience mental health issues without diagnosed intellectual impairments. I found my clients easily accessed the terminology and quickly applied the skills. At the same time, in the private sector, I treat professionals struggling with addiction. I created an Emotion Regulation for Addiction Class using the Skills System that has been well received. The language of the Skills System fits well with addiction terminology (e.g, Safety Plan, New Me, and On Track). Individuals in early recovery often have difficult with controlling attention and managing urges. My clients report that the structured approach helps them stay focused and offers guidance related to “knowing what to do” when feeling the urge to engage in their behavior of choice (e.g. problematic sexual behaviors, alcohol or drug use). The model offers supports that helps my clients rebuild and maintain their relationships with themselves and others in more balanced ways. I am in the process of collecting outcome data. I would love to consult with others who are using or considering using the Skills System with addictions. You can email Julie at [email protected] and/or me at [email protected].